x marks the spot, if you read the map right

About the site

So, you are probably wondering why this site exists....much less who it is behind the darned thing.

Basically, this is to be a resource for those we know and love, as well as a bit of practice and therapy for me. I know I can make a website, I just need to prove it to myself. I might even get good at it...don't laugh.

A lot of this site is cludged and sometimes outright stolen code; though I adapt it, and credit those whose work I've taken. For instance, the primary CSS is from Open Source Templates. And the header image is from - of course - Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke. Can't have enough kodama images.

Beyond that...here is where I highlight a few of the recent changes and define what I use to make the site.

The basic layout

As most of you know, I've been maintaining a page in some way, shape, or form since 1999 or so. Basically, the current form of the site breaks down as such:

  • The main site, with personal projects, links, and photos either hosted or linked.
  • The blog, where I spout out about politics and whatever else is on my mind.
  • The Galva Guard pages, commemorating Tom and his unit's service in Iraq.
  • A support area where I had originally planned to provide some basic computing info. Not sure if I am ever going to get around to that.
  • Hopefully more projects, including an oddball travel section for you all.

Mostly, it's just a hobby for me to code what I can and try out new things. Granted, the code is from all over the place, tweaked when I get the time to play with it. I hope to have something original as time goes on.

Feedback is real importance to me getting off my butt and getting to work on this site. Feel free to use the contact page to let me know what you think.

Site history

Originally this was hosted on GeoCities, then on an OSU server where I was working at the time. Eventually the site got hosted on Freeservers, but the costs and space issues were getting ridiculous. For the past few years, the site has been hosted by IonWeb, who have been very cool to work with. Unfortunately they got out of the web hosting business in late 2011, so we are now over on HostMonster. They are relatively cheap, offer a lot of bells and whistles, but everything just seems to run a wee bit slower. Plus I know I am going to miss Dave, who used to handle my bizarre tech questions.

I've played with various color schemes and menu systems. Usually it works, sometimes not so much.

First, the menu system. I scrapped the old Dynamic Drive HV Menu format and have gone with straight link code. Our even older stuff came from TwinHelix and just didn't update well to work with newer browsers. I liked it, just not the pain of making it work all over again.

Second, I been using a message board from Boardnation. The most important thing about it: no pop-ups or ads of any form. Then again, it doesn't get a lot of use either. Actually, they finally inactivated the account because no one was using it. Oh well.

Next, the picture slideshows. I had a system worked out with Dreamweaver and Fireworks but it got a little complicated once you went past a couple menus so I have gone to this method using Arles Image Web Page Creator software from Digital Dutch. From there, I went to a hosted 4Images photo gallery solution. Lately, I find it is much easier to just upload to Picasa and Flickr. Given that we lost the 4images gallery in the server migration, I will probably just go full bore into integrating the pics into a Picasa album.

Finally, the site design. I've more or less run the gamut on software. My original site was in Microsoft FrontPage. The second version was created in a strange combination of Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 and Adobe PageMill. The current incarnation is primarily done by hand in Notepad or EditPlus2, with some initial code cleanup going through Dreamweaver 8. However, I still do use a lot of Dreamweaver to make sure things work. In addition, a lot of the design work was done in Fireworks with some graphics thrown together in it and Paint Shop Pro X2. Yeah, a lot of old software but it still works, and that is what matters.

The most recent site template is called TerraFirma2 and is courtesy of Free CSS Templates.

Many of the page images are courtesy of Hayao Miyazaki films, particularly Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor, Totoro. Why? Because I like them, that's why.

The page heading text comes courtesy of Neil Gaiman's The Dangerous Alphabet, which we have a signed copy of that Gabriel likes to read.

My portal page comes courtesy of k3ttc4r at DeviantArt and the wallpaper (basic but good) comes from Alexander-GG over at DeviantArt as well. Good stuff, check it out.

Site Links

Other people's pages are linked as a courtesy. We like to highlight what other people are doing and genuinely like a lot of the creative ideas out there. Please take a moment to visit them and check out the writing and artwork and rambling thoughts of those we know, both online and off.